Cory Haik of the Washington Post.

Cory Haik keeps the Washington Post in beta - #newsrw

Live-blogged notes from Cork Haik's talk at news:rewired

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Cory Haik, executive producer, The Washington Post – @coryhaik

What does she do?

They’re always in beta – iterating, prototyping, liveblogging, et al. They’re trying to deliver strong, dynamic journalism to readers where they are – and that’s why they need to keep experimenting and innovating.

They have a local audience – and an international one. They’re busy – but they’re defiantly shipping.

They’re focused on things like mobile, social, data, partnerships and community/engagement.

The Twitter Mention Machine

The @mentionmachine monitors Twitter for mentions of candidates. It appears at the bottom pf page, showing how many mentions of the US presidential candidates have appeared over the last 24 hours. You can click through to dig into the data – and it was an in-house build. They like to think its raising awareness of social as a critical part of reporting in both the newsroom and amongst the audience.

Social Reader – frictionless sharing! It invites you to discover what your friends are reading, and personalises based on your interests. When you opt into the app, you agree to share with Facebook, and the stories you read show up to your friends there.

Data and open apis – White House Visitors Log: The Obama administration is the first to release this data, and they do it every month, with a three month delay. The WP built a tool on the API sharing the data allowing users to drill down by names or interests, and click through to the details. Their developers built a service that continually calls the government web service until they’re up to date, which stores the data, and which only uses open source software. They intend to publish that service so others can use it.

Mobile & iPad apps

“All the web will be the mobile web” An app they’re proud of – the iPad Politics app. Polls, maps of where the latest adverts are appearing, and all the best expert commentary. Summaries of the stances of the candidates of major issues. They graphically display how candidate’s position shift. Oh, and a historical record of who won ever state through every presidential election in US history.

Investigative journalism – capitol assets. Mapping earmarks for public money into particular schemes. You can drill down even to street level. It was “quite viral” when launched.

Embracing and engaging in the conversation: Back in November, when the Republican nominations started, they asked users and reported to use instagram to take photos for the elections, using a particular hashtag. That led to hundreds of photos with date, time and geo-data. Socialcam – will be used by Washington Post reporters and readers to cover the Olympics – and will be displayed on the WP site through an API that SocialCam built from them.

Apple obsession?

She was challenged by Marc from the BBC College of Journalism about “iFanism” – designing for the iPad and nothing else. “Responsive design is the answer to most of that, and that’s where we’re moving”. They have a pretty good chance of being there in 2013. They aim to build for mobile first and allow the site to adapt upwards to larger screen sizes from there.

She likes to think that she works with a “disruption layer” across the site. The kind of people that work in that need a varied skill set. Journalism first, an idea of how technology works on a conceptual level. They need people in the newsroom who can speak the language of developers. They’re trying to integrate agile into the newsroom. They have a new mobile project coming that they’ve done in an agile way, and will launch in an iterative beta. The Post wants to talk to people interested in that.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.